Garth Brooks said he would be home for Christmas when asked by a student if he would ever perform on campus.
“We’re going to do something for Christmas this year, how about that?”
Brooks returned to OSU for the day with her touring crew to share music industry wisdom and empower the next generation as she embarks on her own personal journeys through college and beyond. .
Industry Insights has not only been beneficial for music students, but also for veterinary students, those starting families, and more. Brooks made sure to speak with people from multiple disciplines and backgrounds, regardless of their future.
OSU holds a special place in Brooks’ heart, which made it obvious when he was asked to come back and speak to the students.
“For any dreamer, you need a safe place to dream, and that’s here,” Brooks said.
As students gathered at the McKnight Center to hear Garth Brooks, he included a full team of social media, songwriting, business and technical experts from his touring band.
“If I’m out there talking to a bunch of reporters and they’re asking me everything from nuclear waste to anything, I don’t have the answers,” Brooks said, comparing the meetings of press with the president at the current event. “But I think if I’m a leader I would bring people who have the answers, so I never understood why there weren’t 10 people behind the president. So I brought people who, hopefully can answer any questions you have.
Although each session was divided into certain topics, the general theme was hard work. Especially for women in the audience.
“Get ready because in this job, whatever job you choose, you’ll have to work a thousand times harder than the men to get half of it,” Garth said as he introduced the women on his team. “It’s like that right now. Until things change, don’t complain, just roll up your sleeves and work.
Brooks shared how some women in the music business, including Dolly Parton and Reba McEntire, outdid all the men around them to become one of the most successful women in country music history. The women on his team reminded him of the same work ethic in these two ladies.
“Know your value, but also know how hard you work to uphold it,” said media and TV extraordinaire Samantha Hines.
Everything from work to family to school was discussed with Brooks and his team. The relationships formed within this team had an impact on Brooks’ growth as an artist and as a person.
“Don’t surround yourself with yeses, surround yourself with people trying to give you the right answer,” Brooks said.
Although he doesn’t use his college degree in his day-to-day life, Brooks said he’s still proud to have him and his wife, Trisha Yearwood, with her music business degree from Belmont.
“It was a sense of accomplishment, it was also that period of time between my mom and dad leaving home and being a real adult,” Yearwood said. “Getting those four years to grow and learn is going to college.”
Not only was college a place of growth for Brooks, but graduating gave him a sense of confidence when he tried to sign a recording contract.
“The truth is, if they sign you to a deal, they’ll find you,” Brooks said. “But when you walk in and say ‘I’ve got my degree,’ already that degree has paid for itself a thousand times in 30 minutes of talking to these guys.”
Brooks returned to his alma mater for the first time in years, and the biggest question on people’s minds was when will he be back?
“I can just tell you this, the women there (President Shrum) do whatever they want,” Brooks said. “She loves this university, she will die for this university and fight for it. If I can help in any way to give this university some of the credit it deserves, count on me.